In the hopes of shoring up one of the worst defenses in the league while shaking the Cleveland Cavaliers from their month-long slump, the Cavs are replacing Jae Crowder with Tristan Thompson in the starting lineup, coach Tyronn Lue said Thursday.
“We’re going to start Tristan,” Lue said. “Jae has been playing good the last few games and it has nothing to do with Jae. He’s been great. He’s all about the right things. He’s all about the team. You hate to make these changes. Not saying it’s permanent, but he’s about the team. Went and talked to him this morning and he said, ‘Whatever is best for the team. I’m all in.'”
Lue said that Thompson’s presence will shift Kevin Love back to his natural position at power forward. He also said Thompson should be able to mesh well with Isaiah Thomas in both covering pick-and-rolls on defense and executing them on offense.
Source: Dave McMenamin of ESPN
Chris Paul Says He’ll Pay Green’s Fine for Shove, Ejection
Chris Paul says he will pay any fine that results from teammate Gerald Green shoving Minnesota Timberwolves center Gorgui Dieng in the fourth quarter of the Rockets’ 129-120 win Sunday night.
Green was ejected for coming to Paul’s defense after a frustrated Dieng pushed him down after a foul.
Celtics’ Smart (Thumb) Confident He’ll be Back for Playoffs
Celtics guard Marcus Smart said he’s confident he’ll be back on the court for the postseason after undergoing thumb surgery last week.
Smart suffered a complete tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right shooting hand while diving to the floor in a game against the Indiana Pacers earlier this month. A hand specialist in New York advised immediate surgery with hopes that Smart might be able to return even quicker than the six- to eight-week timeline the team announced after surgery.
Source: Chris Forsberg of ESPN